Time was when city streets thronged with horsedrawn carts and carriages, so drinking troughs for the animals were a familiar part of the furniture. When electric trams came, the troughs were almost immediately redundant. Stone examples with no scrap value were sometimes retained as civic flower planters, but relatively few cast troughs survived the melting pot. An exception – ‘a great beast of a thing’ – turned up in a sale of rural bygones at Silverwoods of Lancashire, removed in the 1950s by the vendor’s father from Preston Market Square, best known today as the Flag Market. It sold for £1, 250, to serve again, this time, no doubt, in someone’s garden.